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SC admits alleged sexual offender's taped phone conversation in defence

Taped telephonic conversation was admitted in defence evidence, in an unprecedented move by the Supreme Court, in a child sexual abuse case’ trial on Monday, reported the Times of India.

A Supreme Court bench of justices Dipak Misra and PC Pant admitted the CD produced by the alleged sexual offender who claimed that the phone conversation recorded in it depicted that he was wrongfully framed for the offence, owing to revenge in a lingering family property dispute.

The trial court and the Punjab and Haryana high court had rejected his application for producing the phone-recorded evidence. He had also pleaded with the trial court to get the CD tested for authenticity, by a forensic laboratory, and match it with voice samples taken from the persons featuring in the conversation.

Reversing the stand of the lower courts, the Supreme Court said the CD produced by the accused can be treated as a document under the Evidence Act and observed: “On a document filed by the defence, endorsement of admission or denial by the public prosecutor is sufficient and defence will have to prove the document if not admitted by the prosecution. In our opinion, the courts below have erred in law in rejecting the application to play the compact disc in question to enable the public prosecutor to admit or deny, and to get it sent to the forensic science laboratory by the defence.”

Obseving that as the accused is in jail he would not have any intention to delay the trial, the court ordered the police to place the compact disc on record and get it examined by a forensic laboratory. However, the bail application of the accused was rejected due to delay.

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